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Modern Western Civilization
Class 11 : The Liberal Revolution
I. The Estates General May 1789 - July 1789
King still in Charge
Estates General met May 5 1789 at Versailles
- Third Estate had twice as many Reps (agreed in Dec)
Its reps were largely lawyers and Govt officials
- Still disputes over voting - eg should all estates meet together
- The Third Estate kept being slighted - it refused to sit alone.
- The other Estates invited to join with it on June 1st.
II. National Constituent Assembly July 1789 -
- A Nominal Absolute Monarchy
- State Church with Priests paid by State
- CREATES A LIBERAL REVOLUTION
- The Third Estate Declares itself National Assembly June 17th
Tennis Court Oath June 20th 1789
- The king opposed it but majority of the clergy some nobles
- June 27th the King capitulated.
- National assembly takes name NATIONAL CONSTITUENT ASSEMBLY
B. The King's Fatal Decision
- Louis tried to re-assert his authority - with an army near
Versailles - 18,000 troops-Marie Antoinette advised him to attack
- -King acts stupidly - tries to undermine NAT. ASS but not
effectively - creates anxiety amongst its supporters -
- The King abandoned the bourgeoisie, which monarchs had supported
for a century and now supported the nobility
- Now to revolt against the nobility the Third Estate also had
to revolt against the King.
- But Two Mass Uprisings of the Masses saved the Nat. Assembly
C. Revolt of the Poor of Paris
- Rising bread prices 1788-89 - riots already in the spring
- Paris politicised by the elections to the EG - had continued
to meet after elections.
- Paris mob storms the Bastille - JULY 14 1789
Basically a prison, but not used very much by 1789 -raided to
find weapons for revolutionary militias growing up in Paris
- troops fired into crowd, killing 98 - crowd storms fortress
- kills troops
- Symbolic importance: First re-direction of the Revolution
by pop of Paris
-Also caused similar disturbances in other cities
- Militias take name NATIONAL GUARD - led by Lafayette
Take Tricolour as flag (Blue and red for Paris, white for
the bourbon king)
D. Revolt of the Peasants - revolts from Spring 1789
- In July - Massive revolts throughout France
- -The Great Fear - fear of royal troops
- -Destruction of lots of medieval documents
- Forced the National Assembly to abolish "feudal"
-August 4th 1789
-there was a sort of carnival of self-sacrifice amongst the nobility
+ the rich bourgeoisie
-all feudal dues, rights and tithes
- After this the Peasantry had a very quite and almost conservative
role - it had what it wanted - LAND.
- But it was the economic conditions that had made the Revolution
take on such vast proportions.
E. Ideological Actions of the National Constituent Assembly
- August 4th Laws -
All French now subject to the same laws.
Abolished the "feudal regime" + Tithes + hunting rights
+ venal offices (explain)
Peasants supposed to pay compensation - but this requirement was
abolished under radical rev. in 1793.
- Declaration of the Rights of Man - August 27th 1789
[Discuss in Class - Where did the Ideas in it come from]
Printed in 1000s of leaflets and distributed around France.
IMPORTANCE OF PROPAGANDA
-equality before the law
-due process (art 7)
-natural rights - liberty, property, security and resistance to
oppression (art 2)
-sovereignity resides in the Nation (art 3)
-law is an expression of the General Will (art.6)
-freedom of religion (art 10) [Jews as well, for 1st time)
-free speech (art 11)
-separation of powers (art 16)
-Enlightenment ideas + American declarations of rights (eg Virginia
F. King and Government Move to Paris - October 6th
- Forced by the Poor Women of Paris
- Made government function under threat of mob violence but
- France was now to peaceful for almost 3 years
III. The National Constituent Assembly's Governing
It faced massive problems of control. It would not repudiate the
state debt (since many of its members were men of property and
were owed money). It also had to find a way to rule France now
that the power of the monarch was in shreds.
A. Administration - the Reforming of France
- Provinces replaced by 83 Departments
- Same sort of courts and laws applied throughout France.
B. Economic Liberalism
- Gets rid of tariffs - unlimited economic freedom
- Suppresses guilds and forbids workers associations -
- Chapelier Law (6/14/1791) -remained law in France for 3/4
of a century.
C. The State Debt
- The solution was to attack the Church - (ref. Voltaire and
philosophes): the nationalization of Church lands
- Problem was many people loyal to Church and this action made
the Revolution unpopular in many quarters.
- this was a serious blunder
- the emigrés begin to leave
- Also a split between anticlericals and pro-clericals has been
at centre of French life ever since.
- Printed bonds - assignats based on value of Church
land - became used as money
D. The Church: Civil Constitution of the Clergy July 1790
- Made bishoprics same as departments
- Priests and bishops to be elected + paid by state (anyone
could vote - including atheists - Church seen as part of the state
- ie no separation of Church and State)
- As well as all this, religious orders were abolished.
- The Assembly required an oath from the clergy - to oppose
the pope - only half did so + 7 bishops
- The Pope condemned the Revolution,liberalism, & the Rights
of Man - began attack on liberalism for next century.
E. Constitution of 1791
This was what the National Constituent Assembly was for.
- One Chamber House
- Only men paying tax could vote
- Only 50,000 would qualify to be elected
ie less than the number of the nobility
- Members of National Assembly not eligible for election.
IV. The King's Actions Destabilize the Liberal
The King was becoming more and more impotent.
June 20 1791 - Louis XVI tried to flee, but was stopped at Varennes
and brought back June 24 a virtual prisoner.
The attitude of the King made the constitutional monarchy of the
1791 Constitution impossible to work. There was no strong executive
provided for apart from the King's ministers.
V. The Legislative Assembly
- Constitutional Monarchy:
- War is promoted to solve domestic problems:
- still a state Church
Took over October 1 1987.
It was to prove ineffective. This eventually led to a radicalisation
of the Revolution.
|Reaction to Revolution Abroad|
- Most Intellectuals and philosophes praised it: Adam Smith, Thomas Paine, Beethoven
B. Conservatives opposed it
- Edmund Burke - Reflections on the French Revolution 1790 (ie before the Terror).
- This is interesting as the foundation of modern conservatism is also a result of French Rev. Burke is not a supporter of tyranny or despotism, rather he says in opposition to liberals -people are not good - they are what they are and you cannot make things better over night
- Populism should not be trusted
- Good government is going to come about through long experience and should not be overthrown
- Government is complicated and simple schemes can neverbe satisfactory-
- There also a longing for how things were that goes with all conservatism
C. Thomas Paine: The Rights of Man 1791 - response to Burke
D. Mary Wollstonecraft Vindication of the Rights of Woman 1792 and Olympe de Gouge The Rights of Women 1791 in France]
French Rev did not really address rights of women. eg voting was only for men.
E. The Revolution also upset other monarchs
although they were not unhappy to see France weakened. But they did not want revolution to spread -
This was the end of Enlightened Despotism. There were attempts all over Europe to stop reform movements
1793 & 1795 - Poland was dismembered
VI. The Wars
A. 1791 Declaration of Pillnitz August 27
- - threatens invasion by Austria and Prussia
- - not really a threat as GB would not join in
B. War Period - Begins April 1792
- This was beginning of a long period of war which forms a background
to everything for the next 30 or so years.
- In retaliation to Dec. of Pillnitz the French Deputies (in
Assembly) declare war on Austria - 20th Apr 1792
- There was pressure from democratic exiles from other countries
- Radicals thought a successful War would bring them support.
- Louis XVI supported the war - he hoped a loss would restore
his position - as did many monarchist members of the Leg Assembly.
- [Robespierre opposed the war as he saw danger of defeat]
C. The French armies were soon retreating - this caused radicalisation
VI. Political Infighting in the Legislative Assembly
Idea of left and Right - origins in the meetings of the Legislative
- -Monarchists - inc. Lafayette
- -The Jacobins - a sort of elitist political club
-wanted a republic - met in a Dominican priory (Jacobin a name
- One group of Jacobins - known as Girondists assumed leadership
- (at first led by Jacque-Pierre Brissot 1754-93. sometimes known
April 20 1792 -declared war on Austria thinking that it would
bring most radical revolutionaries to power. -- BEGINNING OF
THE RADICALIZATION OF REVOLUTION